August 11, 2010
The Dionysian Boulez
This first complete performance of "Pli Selon Pli" is the best there is. Boulez never conducted this work with more intensity, fire and abandon. Indeed, the composer takes an almost Dionysian approach to the music which makes it far more entrancing and powerful than his increasingly Apollian studio takes on the music. "Tombeau," as heard here, is possibly one of the most important and thrilling pieces of music in the post-war era--the equal, to these ears, in revolutionary beauty and resonance of 'Le Sacre.' I have played this work in its entirety for friends and all felt deeply moved by the music--even those with no affinity for modernism. This performance should be made commercially available so that it may continue to serve as a beacon for avant garde music and a compelling reminder of its undiminished power and relevance. This is a 20th century masterpiece given a reading that reveals it as such.